CNET Editors' note: The download button opens the iTunes App Store, where you may continue the download process. You must have iTunes installed with an active iTunes account in order to download and install the software. This download may not be available in some countries.
CNET Editors' review
In light of Apple's recent announcements about its maps app, the idea of another navigation app for the iPhone might seem redundant, but Apple's program will have a hard time matching the route guidance capabilities of Telenav's Scout.
This recent free navigation app builds on Telenav's extensive experience in mobile navigation. Telenav came up with a new interface design and made the app free as a way of competing in the increasingly cutthroat world of navigation software.
Scout's major drawbacks are that it is strictly an online app, and voice prompts require a $9.99-a-year subscription. I also found some aspects of the interface a little bit subtle, making it not always apparent how to find certain features of begin navigation.
Most people will find Scout's online requirement no problem, as the majority of navigating is done in places with a data connection. When I drove into an area with no cell reception, Scout's maps disappeared, although it did still show a line indicating my direction on the screen. Unlike some other navigation apps, Scout can not preload maps for a route.
The main interface combines a small map, a search box, points of interest, and buttons for home and work addresses. These latter buttons automatically compute the drive time for the home and work addresses saved in the app, showing these times right on the main interface. This feature can be particularly useful for people who want to determine the best time to head for work or home, as the drive times will take traffic into account if the app includes the voice guidance annual subscription.
When I first started using Scout, I did not notice any favorites or recent destinations list, and found myself looking up addresses repeatedly with the search box. Poking around the interface, I finally found that touching the Drive button took me to a screen with a recent destination list, a link to my phone's contacts, and similar saved addresses.
Similarly, after finding a destination with search, Scout brings up a nice little card for the place that includes the address, phone number, crowdsourced reviews, and a button to share the location through e-mail or text messaging. But there is no button that says "navigate" or "set this address as a destination." Instead, I had to touch the address on the screen, which caused Scout to calculate routes.
Scout offered three routes for each destination I chose, then required me to pick one of them and push the navigate button to begin route guidance. It seemed like a lot of steps to go through to begin navigation, but it was nice to have the multiple routes shown right from the start.
Without the voice prompt upgrade, Scout is a purely visual navigator, and does not take traffic into account. But it worked very well as long as I could clip the phone somewhere in the car where I could see it. Its turn instructions were easy to follow and shown well in advance of upcoming turns. It also shows maps in 2D or 3D views, at the driver's preference.
Adding the voice guidance subscription, Scout became much more useful. In fact, I found that I began to rely on it for most navigation, even if I already knew my route. With the upgrade, it does an excellent job of integrating traffic. Frequently I would start out on a trip, and Scout would announce that it adjusted the route based on a traffic problem up ahead. It is quite satisfying to go cruising down a clear road, imagining that somewhere nearby is a massive jam-up.
The voice prompts made it unnecessary to put my phone up on the dashboard, as they included the names of the streets on which I would be turning. These voice prompts also talked through multiple, close-together turns before I reached them, giving some advanced preparation. I was also able to turn off my iPhone's screen, saving its battery, and still hear the voice prompts.
On arriving at a destination, Scout does not automatically end its route guidance, which would be nice. Instead, I had to either touch the end trip button, which kind of disappears in the lower right hand corner of the route guidance screen, or shut down the app. Unlike some other navigation apps, Scout does not automatically resume a route when it is shut down then restarted.
One other feature that might keep Scout relevant once Apple's Maps app becomes generally available is its integration with the Scout.me Web site and in-car infotainment systems. The Web site is supposed to let users select destinations on their PCs and share them with the phone app. That would be useful when, for example, getting an e-mail with a physical address and pasting it into the Web site. However, the Web site is still in beta, and never linked up with my phone.
The other component of the Scout ecosystem, integration with cars, will have to wait until automakers implement the compatible software. Telenav has a strong working relationship with Ford, so I would expect it would be the first automaker to incorporate Scout. With full implementation, drivers should be able to find a destination using the phone app or Web site, and send it to the car's navigation system.
Scout is your daily personal navigator that helps you beat traffic wherever you go. Powered by over 100 million traffic sources, Scout offers traffic-conquering tools designed specifically for being on the go. From your daily commute to everyday errands and weekend fun, Scout gets youand gets you there with free voice-guided GPS navigation. Do more with less hassleThe personal commute dashboard is updated in real time with the most relevant local info. The handy home screen shows your traffic-based commute times and current traffic flows, with zero tapping needed. And with just one tap, find your recent and favorite destinations, nearby places like restaurants, and cheap gas.Beat trafficWith more than 100 million traffic sources, Scout gives you the most efficient routes with the least amount of traffic, one-tap rerouting to avoid jams, street-level traffic views for major roads and side streets, alerts to help you navigate around upcoming traffic incidents, turn-by-turn traffic summary for your route, and more!Help others beat traffic tooReport traffic congestion, police, road hazards, and accidents with a simple tap to help you fellow Scout drivers avoid gridlock or being pulled over.Get hands-free voice guidance: Scout guides you to your destination with free turn-by-turn, voice navigation and also listens to your voice commands to search or drive, so you can enjoy the journey without distractions.Always have the best routeIn addition to multiple routes to choose from, Scout uses Adaptive Routing to look out for time-saving and traffic-beating options as you drive and lets you switch with one tap if a better route is available.Smile! Youre not on candid cameraScout tells you when a red light camera or speed trap is up ahead.No more where are you?? textsScout lets others know when youll be there and lets them follow your real-time progress on a map with OnMyWay ETA-sharing. Discover the local weekend sceneFind places to go and things to do like live music, bars, shows, family events, sports, movies, and more. Plan online at www.scout.me and sync your favorites between the site and the app.. You can also find your friends in Scout and share places and events with them through email, SMS, Facebook, and Twitter.Free supportGet your questions answered with live support at the Scout community forum http://ourcommunity.scout,me. Learn more about Scout for iPhone at www.scout.me/iphone.--Whats the word on Scout?Scout is as easy on the eyes as it is easy to use. - MashableScout is my preferred iOS maps alternative. Joel Evans, ZDNetScout is immediately a commuters best friend. Jamie Lendino, PCMagazineScout wins Best for Design Travel & Leisure, Best GPS Apps for TravelTop Travel App Departures.comNotes:Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.Scouts map and search coverage is currently for the USA only.
What's new in this version: Happy Halloween! Swap out that blue arrow icon with Jacko the pumpkin, Frank the iconic monster, a classic sugar skull, or for the not-so-faint-at-heart, a creepy, crawly spider.Save time with a faster route! Scouts new Adaptive Routing looks out for time-saving options as you drive and automatically shows you if a better route is available.Voice guidance improvements: Scout talks to you at the right timenot too much and not too little!Bug fixes
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"Kicks off my Bluetooth - while on the phone!"
Version: Scout GPS, Maps, Voice Navigation & Traffic 188.8.131.52204
Love Scout and loved TeleNav before! It's gotten me safely out of the hills of PA to every soccer / XC practice around!
When I used TeleNav I could talk on the phone and it would voice over directions. Scout kicks me off of my bluetooth entirely! And then I don't hear my phone call OR the directions! It's very frustrating! I have the setting set to interrupt a call - but it's not working correctly! Please tell me how to fix it - or fix it on your end - please! It's pretty dangerous because then I'm fiddling w/ my phone for both directions and a call!
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